Jump Start # 3337
Mark 5:19 “And He did not let him, but He said to him, ‘Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you.”
Our verse today is the conversation between the Lord and the demon possessed man. The man had been living among the tombs. He was naked, cut himself with stones, broken chains that had bound him and screamed night and day. What a terror he was. Seeing Jesus, he ran to Him, bowed and begged the Lord not to torment him. The demons were cast into a herd of swine, which rushed into the sea and drowned. Now, this man wants to follow Jesus. This is where our verse comes in. Jesus won’t let him. He has other plans for him. Go tell your people. This man was very likely a Gentile. Later, as Jesus returns to this area, others have heard about the Lord. Could it have been through this man?
What is so fascinating about this passage is what is left out. Go tell your people, but first, you must sit through thirteen weeks of personal evangelism classes. Nope. Go tell your people, but take these pamphlets, tracts and literature with you. Nope. Go tell your people, but you don’t know anything about the church, the structure of the church, Biblical prophecy and you must have an understanding of Revelation first. Nope. How could he tell his people when he didn’t understand the qualification of elders, the nature of the Lord’s Supper, what propitiation means and the concept of Biblical fellowship.
Go tell your people what the Lord has done for you. That’s it. So much he didn’t know. So much he couldn’t answer. But, he knew one thing, Jesus had changed his life.
Throughout the Gospels and heavily in Acts we read about the spread of the Gospel. We see the growth of the church. We see that the numbers multiplied. But, what is so interesting is that in all the letters to the churches, very little, if anything, is ever said about evangelism. One would think that the apostles would be pushing this hard. One would think that there would be mountains of paragraphs written about how to do evangelism, the need for evangelism and the dos and don’ts of evangelism. But, it’s simply not there.
Some thoughts about that:
First, evangelism is the only way the kingdom grows. There is no other way. Teaching and converting is the means of growth in the kingdom. There is no Plan B. More than that, if we don’t do it, it won’t get done. There isn’t some agency that can be hired that will take care of that. There isn’t someone that can do that for us. If not us, no one.
Second, it just may be that the reason we don’t read much about evangelism in the letters to the churches is that they naturally understood the value of this. They grasped what a great gift salvation was and they wanted to tell others about it. The words of our Lord are enough. You are the light of the world. Shine that light is what we must do.
Third, within preaching of the Gospel comes the saving message of Jesus Christ. To preach the Gospel is to evangelize. And, the first place this begins is in our homes. Living for Jesus ought to be an everyday natural part of our lives. Prayer should be common in our homes and our lives. Reading the word of God ought to be something that is just as important as paying our bills, mowing the yard and making dinner. To preach Jesus is to evangelize.
And, right here may be the reason why we have to spend so much time on evangelism, with sermons, classes and booklets. Maybe we have just dropped the baton. Maybe it’s just not natural to us. Maybe there is a disconnect between us and the lost.
And, how we rightly deal with this is to remember that the Lord loves everyone and to remember what the Lord has done to you. What if I’m asked a question I don’t know? Then, you say, “I don’t know.” But go do your homework and find the answer. What if someone says, “I’m not interested?” Fine. Be kind. Invite them anyway and help them anyway you can. What if someone gets ugly? What do you think happened in that pagan first century world? Have faith in what you know. Be sure yourself. Give evidence and then let the person think about it.
Talking to someone about Jesus ought to be as easy as it is talking about sports, cooking, or the weather. Don’t make it harder than what it is. Don’t manufacture obstacles that may not be there. Don’t answer for others, let them answer for themselves. Well, I know my cousin wouldn’t be interested. Maybe not. Maybe he would be.
It begins with a lifestyle that is different than the world. It begins with a hope and a confidence that comes from the Lord. It begins with loving the Lord and His people.
Go tell your people. Do you think you could have done that? Do you think you can do that now?